"Barracuda queens" is Netflix's second Swedish production set in Sweden's most rich area of Djursholm, after "Mest av allt" from 2019. This time, the series creators, with Camilla Ahlgren as main screenwriter, have been inspired by Lidingöligan – young men who robbed exclusive villas in rich municipalities, focused business leaders and with a feeling for fine wines.
Just like in real life, it's the 90s, but the men have been replaced by a gang of girls around 20. In the first episode, the girls incur a huge debt via a water leak at an exclusive hotel and a night out for SEK 100,000 at their mother's Amex. Rather than asking their parents to bail them out ("my mother will give me up for adoption," complains adult Lollo), they steal watches, wines, and art from neighbors and friends they pawn. Eventually, stealing is about something more than guilt.
The series was developed during the pandemic via video meetings. It shows. There is a (long-awaited) liberating hedonism in that theft, drunk driving, and a champagne consumption that could fill a swimming pool are not moralized around. The series doesn't try to correct or brag for its pig-rich protagonists' obvious lack of morality, and it feels fresh.
But "Barracuda queens" has some problems. Several side tracks, both one with a suspicious art dealer and one with a cold-hammered fuckboy are dealt with in a way that feels unfinished and released. The same goes for the ending – without saying too much.
The series also suffers from partly stilted dialogue and the player Tobbe is a bit too flat in his. The creators of the series have emphasized the importance of the time details being correct, which they sometimes do (the café au lait cups!) but sometimes music is played in the 1995 pub that wasn't made until 1997, which is not a big deal, but it bothers.
The big draw with "Barracuda queens" is Alva Bratt ("Eagels", "Zebra Room") in the lead role as Lollo. She embodies the dragged "everything works out" attitude of the upper class, both in body language and sociolect, and gives her unsympathetic character enough appeal to make "Barracuda queens" worth seeing.